My girlfriend and I are planning a 2 week trip from San Francisco to Las Vegas in May. I've read plenty of posts here but there are a couple of details from our own trip I'd appreciate a few pointers for. Hopefully someone can help.
Everything isn't 100% fixed yet, but here is what we have. Flights, rental car and hotel in SF are already all booked, everything else is open:
13th - Land at SFO, spend 3 nights in SF
16th - Leave SF and head down coast/highway 1
16-17th - 1 night in Monterey, visit aquarium
17th - Arrive in Cambria/Morro Bay area, spend a few nights here. Either moving along the coast, or staying multiple nights in the same establishment and using it as a base to explore further.
~20th - head inland towards Yosemite and spend some time there
* this is where it's a little uncertain
26th - Vegas
27th - Day trip/Fly over Grand Canyon
28th - Vegas
29th - Fly out of LAS
Our main hesitation is how long to stay on the coast/in Yosemite and how to head to Vegas afterwards.
We'd really like to see mono lake and death valley but, as from what I can gather, the Tioga pass may be closed, I was thinking of pre-planning 2 routes from that point on depending on road conditions.
What do people suggest as an alternative non-death valley route from Yosemite that would still be interesting?
I like booking hotels in advance but it won't be possible for this part of the journey so I was also wondering if there were recommended stopover locations on the way to Vegas via both routes that could accommodate us last minute at a reasonable price?
Any other remarks appreciated also.